Better Together: Embracing our Differences to Create Healthier Lives

We are ardent believers in diversity, equity and inclusion – this commitment starts at the top with our CEO and extends into all facets of our business and our relationships with vendors, suppliers and business partners. We are committed to creating a workplace where everyone can succeed and thrive. We are dedicated to building and retaining a talented workforce that encompasses diversity of thought, work styles, and beliefs as well as all aspects of diversity including race, color, gender, national or ethnic origin or ancestry, age, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, military or veteran status, disability, and other categories as outlined in our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics. Our focus on diversity, equity and inclusion spans across all employment-related decisions, from hiring and promotions, to succession planning, compensation, performance, training, and career development programs.

Our Approach and Oversight

We’ve formed a global, executive-level DE&I Council to provide the oversight needed to drive change and embody diversity, equity, and inclusion principles in our words and actions. Our CEO-led executive DE&I Council has established a multi-year strategy with five strategic pillars to provide a consistent global approach which includes and goes beyond our commitment to gender and racial equity. This Council meets quarterly to evaluate the work and measure progress, which is shared annually with the Board of Directors.

Meet our Council Members

I stand shoulder to shoulder with this team of leaders to ensure diversity, equity, and inclusion isn’t a program at Charles River, it is how we work and interact to be the difference every day. It is our way of being that is essential to bringing about the changes that we need.

Jim Foster, Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer


Our Five Strategic Pillars

  • Build Understanding and Awareness

    We empower curiosity to drive deeper understanding and build greater respect and support throughout our organization. We do this through continuous learning opportunities, foundational DE&I courses, celebrating our cultural differences, and by actively supporting each other through listening, empathy, respect, and compassion. Our accomplishments include:

    • Becoming a CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion signatory.
    • Hosting Day of Understanding with 2200 global participants​.
    • Celebrating heritage months including Black History Month, Pride Month, and Hispanic Heritage Month by featuring our employees in roundtables, articles, and blog posts.
    • Developing monthly I Belong at Charles River panel discussions to raise awareness of DE&I topics.
    • Launching dedicated DE&I learning paths for employees and people leaders.
    • Engaging with employees across the globe and regularly soliciting feedback to guide our DE&I strategy.
  • Strengthen Belonging and Inclusion

    We know that an inclusive culture where everyone can be their authentic selves, be appreciated for their differences, and share their unique perspectives is key to our employees’ engagement and our company’s success. To achieve this sense of belonging, we are focused on educating all people leaders to mitigate their unconscious biases and empowering all employees to take individual actions to create an inclusive environment for all. We are committed to expanding employee resource groups (ERGs) to support and develop our employees across spectrums of diversity, educate allies, and to highlight ways in which we can continually improve. Our accomplishments include:

    • Establishing seven global Employee Resource Groups (ERG), each paired with an Executive Sponsor from our senior leadership team. Our ERGs now include more than 700 employees across the globe and have partnered with the Company on a DE&I calendar, including a new holiday for U.S. and other initiatives like all-gender restrooms and inclusion of pronouns on business cards and email signatures.
    • Launching Tackling Bias and Creating Inclusion workshops which were piloted in 2020 by the CEO and our Executive Team and are now being rolled out to our people leaders.
    • Incorporating inclusion and belonging into our employee engagement pulse surveys to measure progress.
  • Increase Diverse Representation

    We remain committed to attracting, developing, and retaining diverse talent by forging key partnerships; strengthening our sourcing channels; creating pipelines for early talent through internship and apprenticeship opportunities; mandating diverse interview panels; and mitigating unconscious bias at every step in the employee lifecycle. Diverse representation is reviewed regularly as part of our CEO business reviews. Our accomplishments include:

    • Regularly reviewing our gender, race/ethnicity, and generational representation as part of our CEO business reviews to ensure appropriate representation at every level.
    • Implementing diverse interview panels with on-going reporting and tracking; training our recruiting teams to mitigate unconscious bias; and preparing our hiring managers to conduct objective, behavioral-based interviewing.
    • Hiring an additional, dedicated diversity sourcing specialist to help drive diverse talent attraction and hiring.
    • Supporting programs to increase diversity such as our Cristo Rey internship program and our UK scientific and leadership apprenticeship programs.
  • Focus on Equity

    We are committed to providing opportunities for everyone to realize their full potential. Our approach to gender and racial equity, and other diversity dimensions, focuses on ensuring employees’ ability to progress at every level of our organization. We regularly review our practices and metrics to ensure equitable outcomes in areas such as pay, total rewards, engagement, performance, promotion, development, and talent reviews. Additionally, we have a robust supplier diversity program to ensure economic development opportunities for diverse business enterprises. Our accomplishments include:

    • Conducting bi-annual global pay equity review for gender and a U.S.-based pay equity review for race and ethnicity, which results in swift remediation if there are anomalies.
    • Highlighting diversity as part of the annual talent review process and succession slates.
    • Offering a generous tuition benefit in the U.S., to address the high cost of college and help our employees continue to grow and develop in their careers.
    • Providing company-paid sabbaticals to provide employees opportunities for self-growth, professional development, or community impact.
    • Being recognized as the 2021 Merck Supplier Partner of the Year for Supplier Diversity Engagement.
  • Partner With our Communities

    Our commitment to diversity extends beyond our workplace to the communities in which we live and work. We partner with organizations globally to ensure thriving communities, increase awareness of disease and health outcomes, and create better access to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education for today’s youth, inspiring the next generation of diverse scientists and technicians. We also provide support for Charles River employees facing challenges (personal illness/injury, family death, or natural disasters) through our Employee Relief Fund. Our accomplishments include:

    • Launching the Charles River Employee Relief Fund and disbursing funds to employees facing hardships.
    • Recognizing STEM Day with ten of our locations donating 500 STEM kits to children in foster care.
    • Creating global food bank partnerships to address food insecurity in regions where our employees live and work.
    • Donating to more than 100 community organizations that are addressing the needs of under-served groups.

Personal Pronouns

As an organization, we understand the importance of personal pronouns and encourage all employees, regardless of their gender identity, to share their personal pronouns in introductions, on name tags, in email signatures, and in meetings. These actions help make our workplace more inclusive and fosters a sense of belonging. Using personal pronouns is an integral step toward respecting people’s gender identity and creating a welcoming space for people of all genders.

Awards and Recognition

  • 2021 Fortune’s Worlds Most Admired Companies
  • 2021 Fortune’s 100 Fastest Growing Companies
  • 2021 Montreal's Top Employers
  • 2021 Merck Supplier Partner of the Year for Supplier Diversity Engagement